Charlotte Flair and Asuka are on a collision course for WrestleMania 34 on April 8. The SmackDown women’s champion will defend her title against The Empress of Tomorrow in a match that many likely believed would not happen.
The reason for that has to do with WWE’s latest signing, Ronda Rousey. Fans thought that Flair versus Rousey was the best fit for Mania, even though the former UFC Bantamweight champion had just arrived on the scene. Rousey was primed for a big match and nothing was bigger than facing arguably the best female Superstar in the company.
But Charlotte versus Asuka is perhaps the more compelling match.
Charlotte’s positioning as the standard bearer for women’s wrestling in the modern era is stronger than it’s ever been. She’s been presented as the top talent from the moment she arrived on the main roster and that is still the case now.
She is the best of the best and even though she has her critics, no one can deny how far she’s come in such a short amount of time. Fans know when they tune in to see Charlotte Flair in the ring; they’re going to get her absolute best effort.
That is especially true on the pay-per-view stage, which is where she shines the brightest. The top female Superstars always show up and deliver when they step onto the main stage. But Charlotte thrives in that environment.
WrestleMania 34 should be no different for her. She may not stand across the ring from Ronda, but that does not mean the match will not get rowdy.
Asuka is a different breed of performer. She completely embraces the theatrical side of the sport and is not afraid to explore who she is. She approaches the business like an actress instead of a wrestler as she brings her character to life better than many of her contemporaries. It’s all about the totality of her role inside and outside the ring. She is who she is because she believes in herself. WWE obviously believes in her as well.
Her undefeated streak is growing to epic proportions. What began as just an angle has now become a storyline that defines her. She has over 220 wins under her belt and she’s shown no sign of slowing down. Every time she appears to be in trouble, she somehow manages to pull out the win.
It’s clear that the company has faith in her. But where will that faith taker her next?
The best thing about Asuka is that she’s not just a character. She can go in the ring. Her style is smash-mouth yet refined at the same time. She’s rough around the edges but fluid as well. She is orchestrated intensity and it’s evident that she is right at home between the ropes. She can work anyone and put on a five-star match. But she will lose at some point.
Fans know its coming. It has to. She cannot remain undefeated forever. She’s done a great job thus far but it’s what happens after her first loss that will define the next stage of her WWE career. Could that first loss come to Charlotte at WrestleMania?
Many fans believe this will happen, mostly because of Charlotte’s stature within the company. Of all the potential candidates to end Asuka’s streak, who is a better choice than the SmackDown women’s champion?
But then there’s the fact that though Charlotte is at the top, she doesn’t necessarily need to win on The Grandest Stage of Them All. She’s at the point now that she can likely rebound from any loss and that includes a loss to Asuka. Charlotte is the best choice to end the streak, but that may actually happen in a rematch after WrestleMania.
Asuka however, does need the win on April 8. Her entire WWE run has been built around her undefeated record. To take it away from her now would be to destroy everything the company has worked for. Her true journey will begin after she eventually loses of course but that loss should perhaps not come at WrestleMania.
If Asuka wins, then her run can be considered a success. WWE would have booked an undefeated streak all the way through a talent’s first WrestleMania and perhaps even beyond. The thrill of the chase could become the focus of the angle from that point on.
The woman that beats Asuka not only ends the streak, she also wins the title.
Charlotte versus Asuka is the dream match that fans were not expecting. But they should be more than pleased on April 8. Both women will bring everything they have to the company’s biggest night of the year, that much is certain. Who walks away with the victory is still up for debate.